THE MAN KNOWN AS CYLIANI, OF WHOM LITTLE IS KNOWN PERSONALLY,
WROTE THE PRESENT VOLUME IN 1831 AND HAD IT PUBLISHED THE
YEAR AFTER. ITS MAIN INTEREST LIES IN THE FACT THAT HE IN
FLUENCED A SCHOOL OF FRENCH ALCHEMYSTS WHO BASED THEIR WORK
ON HIS FINDINGS, THE FIRST OF THESE WAS G. F. TIFFEREAU WHO,
BROUGHT A PIECE OF GOLD FROM MEXICO, WHICH HE CLAIMED TO
HAVE MANUFACTURED BY THE ART. TIFFEREAU SPENT THE YEARS
FROM 1847 TO 1891 TRYING TO PERSUADE FRENCH SCIENTISTS TO
TAKE HIS WORK SERIOUSLY, BUT ONLY SUCCEEDED IN STIMULATING
THE ALCHEMYSTS SUCH AS JOLLIVET- CASTE LOT AND OTHERS. HE
COMPLAINED THAT THE SUN IN FRANCE WAS NOT AS SUITABLE TO
THE WORK AS THAT OF MEXICO.
THIS IS THE ONLY TRANSLATION OF THE BOOK INTO ENGLISH OF WHICH
ONLY ONE COPY, THE PRESENT, HAS BEEN MADE.
Heaven having granted me success in making the Philosopher's Stone,
after having spent thirty-seven years in seeking it, stayed awake at
least fifteen hundred nights without sleep, suffering innumerable
miseries and irreparable losses. I have decided to offer to youth, the
hope of the future, the heart-rending picture of my life. This may
serve both as a lesson and at the same time help the young to turn
away from an art that at the first sight may offer the most delightful
white and red roses that, however, are surrounded by thorns and of
which the path that leads to the place where one can pick them is full
The universal medicine being a far greater blessing than the gift of
riches to know it naturally attracts studious men who believe them-
selves to be happier than the multitudes. This reason has influenced
me to transmit to posterity the processes to be undergone in the
greatest details, without leaving out anything at all, in order to let
it be known and to prevent the ruin of honest people and to render a
service to suffering humanity.
The reader who understands my processes will only have to seek the
Matter, the Fire, and the Labors of Hercules. Duty has forced all
philosophers to make a mystery of this. I have sworn to Almighty God
to carry this secret into the grave and will not be perjured, were I
even to be stoned, as I prefer to displease men rather than the
I have honestly described all the processes that have to be
undertaken, on this you can count. I have hope from the depths of my
heart that what I have dreamed will reveal to virtuous man, if so
called by God, how to rejoice in such blessing, helping them to avoid
the numberless traps, even to the possibility of losing his very life.
The greatest care is needed to pass the Labors of Hercules. Once they
are passed the rest is a very agreeable work that does not cost one
cent in money.
Be very careful that it does not happen to you, as it did to me, to be
wounded. As a result of these varied labors I find myself with the
most essential organ of life affected, which means that I shall be
denied, considering the seriousness of the illness, enjoying a long
life, the virture of the medicine not being surgical, but only
I would advise those who insist on treading the path that leads
towards the Philosopher's Stone, only to begin their journey after
having followed several courses in chemistry so that they will know
how to manipulate. Whatever many authors may say, if I had not had the
knowledge of chemistry that I do possess, I would never have reached
- 1 -
I must add that the matter proper to the work is that which served to
form the body of primitive man. It is to be found everywhere and in
varied forms. Its origin is both divine and terrestial, equally so the
fire of the stone.
The Universal Medicine is a magnetic salt that serves as a covering
for a strange energy, universal life. As soon as this salt reaches the
stomach it penetrates the whole body to its ultimate limits,
regenerates all its parts, brings about a natural crisis followed by
abundant sweat— ings, purifies the blood as well as the body,
strengthens this matter instead of weakening it, through dissolving
and chasing away by perspiration all morbid matter which would impede
the play of life and its currents. This salt, due to its cold quality,
also makes disappear every kind of inflammation while the mysterious
energy of this same salt spreads itself throughout the principal
organs of life, settles there while vivifying them. This is the effect
of the Universal Medicine which medically cures all infirmities that
may affect man throughout the course of his life. It allows him to
exist for several centuries in good health, unless, due to his
constitution, God has ordered otherwise. This effect is quite contrary
to the opinion we obtain from doctors who insist that one remedy only
cannot cure all illnesses. But if they were cognizant of the Universal
Medicine they would see that the power of this salt is similar to that
of a magnet that attracts not in this case iron, but the energy of
universal life for which it acts as a covering. In administering it,
they would be forced to recognize its celestial power, and they would
fall onto their knees before this beautiful magnetic salt endowed with
such miraculous and supernatural power and at the same time would
declare from the depths of their hearts that no illness can resist its
action. Of this I have been able to convince myself by giving back
life to many sick people already abandoned by doctors.
To understand what I have just said regarding this strange power
within the medicine more clearly, one should observe the effects of
champagne in our stomachs. As soon as it enters the stomach, its
liquid penetrates the walls and strengthens them. At the same time,
its unknown energy, due to the presence of carbonic acid, is freed and
rises to the brain, chases away our sorrows and makes us feel gay
unless, of course, too large a quantity of this gas starts pressing on
the brain and makes us stagger or fall.
We must realize that the body of man is material; nevertheless, it
contains a power and energy which is foreign to it. This energy is
At this point, I must warn you never to forget that only two matters
of the same origin are needed: One volatile, the other fixed. That
there are two ways, the dry and the humid. I personally follow the
latter by preference and by duty, though the former is familiar to me.
It is done with only one matter.
- 2 -
The azoth unites easily with sulphur, fire with fire, and the double
mercury or rebis in powder or sale or oil forms the true potable gold
or the Universal Medicine in white or red. Finally the seed of gold
lies within the gold itself.
Few combustibles are necessary; even less receptacles . The work costs
very little to undertake and can be performed in any place, but it is
convenient to begin it with that of nature in order to finish it well.
I thought in this book to retain the most important passages from
several works written by those philosophers who have best grasped the
secret mercury, that is to say, Hermes, Arnold of Villanova and the
anonymous author printed in Leipzich in 1732 and others, so as to
transmit in a primordial manner this most precious and divine art
relating to health.
Seek to know the Vinegar of the Mountains because without it you can
do nothing. Its knowledge will give you that of the fairy of the soul
so called by Arnold of Villanova in his Little Rosary.
Also, consider deeply that the fire of our hearths, that of the
furnaces, or of a lamp is the tyrant of destruction and that nature
only uses the common fire in order to destroy. For example, the fire
of lightning or that of the volcanos.
Remember that, after their preparation, the two metallic natures
cannot be reunited, but only in the state of dissolved germs, as is
told by Arnold of Villanova.
Having well understood the practice and the workings that I am going
to give you, you can apply yourself to the task of doing the great
work. If you do not have the good luck to succeed, it is that God does
not wish to grant you such a gift, because I swear to you that I have
told iyou everything in this book, without betraying my oath.
Having passed thirty-seven years of my life studying the phenomena of
nature, I believe it my duty to publish a part of my discoveries so
that the pains and unhappinesses I have experienced may be avoided by
those other good honestpeople who are interested in serving suffering
humanity. Born of a beloved mother and of a father who was both re-
spectable and highly educated and who held an honorable place in
society, I was the only son and my father was my teacher. He gave me a
careful education. From my earliest days I was held up as a model to
the youth of my city, because of my behavior, my tastes for arts and
sciences and my education. I was barely seventeen years of age when
already I could live independently from the fruits of my talents. My
father was in correspondence with scientists, among which were some
who busied themselves searching for the Philosopher's Stone and were
students of the occult science of things. Their books had fallen into
my hands. I was imbued by them and said to myself: Is it possible that
kings, princes, philosophers, presidents of the court and religious
people would have taken pleasure in lying and in spreading error among
their fellow men? No, it is impossible, I answered myself. These are
rather ancient knowledge hidden within the language of hieroglyphics
so that the comon people be deprived of it and that only the elect,
whom God would please to initiate, would be allowed to possess this
supernatural knowledge. I was, by nature, good and a believer. I was
simple and did not know the twistings of the human heart. I believed
in the sincerity of these books . I could hardly wait to become my own
master so that I could devote myself entirely to this type of study.
From my point of view, life only had charm so long as one was
possessed of health and could ~make others happy without their being
able to speak about you. The knowledge of the Philosopher's Stone
would achieve this goal. It became the main consideration of my waking
moments and of my leisure. My ambition was also to obtain the
certainty that the soul existed and was immortal. Such was the
knowledge I wished to acquire, even if it meant losing my very life.
The French Revolution had just burst forth. My knowledge seemed, in
the eyes of my co-citizens, more useful in an administrative post than
in the army. I was honored with several posts. During one of my tours,
I saw when entering a small town a beautiful young lady whose
appearance of goodness, sweet smile and air of general decency charmed
my soul and inflamed my heart. At that very moment I resolved to make
her my wife. After having fulfilled my mission I busied myself in
finding a pretext to speak to her. Love was not lacking and not many
days passed when the moment came that I received permission to visit
her. Finally she accepted me and I promised to make her the happiest
woman in the World. Alas! I was a long way from believing that I would
be the cause of her experiencing a series of unprecedented miseries
when considering that she did everything to make me happy.
- 4 -
A few months after my marriage, I made the acquaintance of a talented
man whose wife was a famous artist. They were both interested in
alchemy and trusted me with a little manuscript that had been found
behind a closet. They were deeply impressed by this manuscript. It was
written in a style that inspired a great deal of confidence.
Everything was to be found there, with the exception of the name of
the Matter, of the Labors of Hercules and the knowledge of the Fire. I
had felt I had reason to believe myself the happiest man on Earth. In
the hotheadedness of youth, I became to conceive immense projects. I
put myself to work which made me neglect my profession and personal
needs. I then decided to resign from my post in order to be able to
concentrate on Hermetic philosophy and within a few years I had used
up all the money that my father and mother had given me upon my
marriage and also a part of my wife's dowry had been flown up the
My unlimited love and friendship for the companion of my youth and her
tender feelings for me provided us with a large family that increased
my expenses as my personal fortune diminished. I saw my wife bravely
putting up with her situation and the desire to render her happy
greatly increased my firm resolve to achieve the goal upon which I had
decided. Twenty-one years passed thus in a state of constant hardship.
I fell into the deepest misery. My many friends now turned their backs
upon me. Everyone lost interest in me, though some tried to discover
why I had fallen into this sad state, especially considering my
exemplary conduct. It came to light that my taste for alchemy deprived
me of even the basic necessities. I became an object for public
laughter. I was treated as a madman. I was booed. My family rejected
me and on several occasions I found myself wandering over the country,
obliged to interrupt my work, having sold even the best of my clothes
in order to pay the wages of a servant who helped me pass my nights.
My wife, burdened with many children, was obliged to take refuge with
her parents, yet never ceasing to be a model of all the virtures. And,
looking into the depths of my heart, I found nothing with which to
reproach myself beyond my taste for a work that had ruined me and
placed my family in such a painful situation.
I found it necessary to forget my work and to sell my talents, but the
poor situation in which I stood made me unwanted. Hardly had I
organized some advantageous deal that my subordinates or some people
who furnished funds seized them, then seeking to discredit me so that
I could find no help. After about ten years has passed thus and having
made use of a part of every night reading practically all the works
published on the Philospher's Stone, my head beginning to be bowed by
the weight of years, I began to feel the irrestible drive that reminds
man of his first loves. In good faith, I suddenly believed myself
better instructed than others and capable of overcoming all the
obstacles that had stopped me heretofore. I had recourse to rich
people of similar tastes. I was received in a very friendly manner. I
passed happy days during the early days with these new acquaintances.
Friendship was lavished upon me and I could now, to some extent, come
to the help of my family. However, as soon as they
- 5 -
thought that they had obtained all that I knew from me, I was
abandoned with futile excuses. It even happened that some went to the
point of giving me a strong dose of corrosive sublimate to destroy me
and steal my writings . I learned to know the human heart at great
cost. I had to keep wide awake all the time. But the fire which
manifested in my stomach and the taste I recognized immediately, made
me run to an antidote. This resulted in a year of discomfort and being
almost deprived of the only pleasure that I knew on earth. In order to
avoid importunating the reader and being accused of wordiness, I shall
avoid a recital of the more petty human passions that I observed and
the inconceivable differences that exist between the pleasant man one
meets decorating the evenings in our drawing rooms and the same man
controlled by the lure of riches and by his own vile cupidity. They
are truly two different people.
I do not wish to pursue the recital of what happened to me. A
description of the misfortunes that befell me would require a large
volume. I once more fell into hardship. It was such that my numerous
family, made up of charming well educated children, virtuous beyond
expression by their decency and their talents were so unhappy because
of the misfortunes of their father that they caught what in others
would have been but slight diseases and, after a couple of weeks,
these diseases became fatal for them. In a short while I lost my
Oh irreparable loss ! How sad and heartbreaking it is for the paternal
heart to be able to weep but tears and to feel only superfluous
regrets ! May the Eternal one day allow me once more to see you again
and then the memory of my misfortunes will be erased for me.
Despite the broken-down condition in which I found myself, I decided
to re-gather my strength in order to make one last effort. I went to
see a rich person who was endowed with a great soul and equally great
culture. For several years I was treated by her in a most generous
manner. Far more generous than the others whom I had met in the past.
I managed in the end to produce something encouraging, but it was not
yet the true work.
One day as I had been walking in the country and was now sitting at
the foot of a large oak tree, I took pleasure in bringing to my mind
all the circumstances of my life and trying to judge whether I had
some merit whatsoever or if I had deserved the huge weight of
hardships that had brought me low. I remembered the discoveries I had
made for commerce and the benefits that French industry had obtained
from them. It was painful to see that strangers had profited and my
name had been forgotten. I remembered the people who had had the skill
to take advantage of all of their discoveries after given them a more
fashionable form. They were covered with honors well situated while I
was wandering and rejected. I asked myself if I had ever intentionally
robbed one cent from any one of my fellow men and my conscience
answered in the negative. Did I for one moment cease being a good son,
good husband, good father, a good friend to those who deserved it? My
heart answered me again: No, your unhappiness stems only from not
having achieved your goal .
- 6 -
I brought to mind that it had been a cruel thing that so many times I
had been so ill paid by my fellow men, even by my friends. I felt
broken down by the pain of these memories. My strength and energy left
me and I put my head on my hands and a very torrent of tears poured
forth, as at the same time I called the Eternal to my help. That day
it was very hot, so that I fell asleep and then dreamed a dream that I
shall never forget.
I thought that I heard split the true at whose feet I was sitting. The
sound made me turn my head. I saw a nymph, a very epitome of beauty
emerging from this tree. Her clothes were so diaphanous that they
seemed transparent. She said to me: "From the heart of this holy tree
I have heard the repetition of your misfortunes. There is no doubt but
they were great, but such is the fate toward which ambition leads a
youth who seeks and who believes himself able to face all dangers in
order to satisfy his desires. I shall add no comment in order not to
aggravate your misfortunes which I can ease. My essence is celestial.
You can even consider me as a ray from the pole star. My power is such
that I animate everything. I am the astral spirit. I give life to
everything that breathes and vegetates. I know everything. Speak what
can I do for you?"
"0 celestial nymph, " I said, "you can reanimate in me a heart beaten
down by hardship by granting me only some slight idea regarding the
organization of the universe, regarding the immortality of the soul
and give me somehow the means that I may achieve to a knowledge of the
Philospher' s Stone and the Universal Medicine. I have become an object
of public laughter. My back is bent under the huge weight of miseries.
For pity's sake deign give me the means to rehabilitate myself in my
own eyes . "
"I am truly touched by your sorrowful existence," she answered me.
"Listen. Gather all your faculties and engrave into your memory what I
am going to tell you. At the same time, take a part of my comparisons
as figurative, in order that I may be able to make myself
understandable to your intelligence."
"Place before your mind an immense space, almost without limits,
within which floats this system of worlds composed of suns, of fixed
stars, of nebulae, of comets, of planets and satellites, all swimming
within the breast of eternity, all within the light of a divine sun
whose rays are without limits and you will have some slight notion of
the totality of the universe, as well as both the finite and the
"This system of worlds and of the Eternal or the sun of divine light
are all of the same origin. They have had neither beginning nor will
they have an end. The slight changes that certain globes experience
changes nothing in the order of the universe."
- 7 -
"The will of the Eternal or of the Creative Spirit can at will hurl a
nebula into space. This going off at a tangent while flying through
space is subject to the law of attraction of any sun to which it has
drawn near and finishes by describing a very elongated eclipse whose
two nuclei are determined by the action of the two suns. Then it is
transformed into a comet but at the end of a lapse of centuries it
finishes by giving way to the attraction of the stronger of the two
suns. Its course becomes regular and finishes by making part of its
own solar system by turning in circles around it. Then after a certain
number of centuries its two luminous points become one point only, one
luminous point that becomes the central fire of this globe, which
itself becomes at a very, very distant time a planet habitable as soon
as it had taken on a certain metaliferous consistency. Then it brings
to birth on its surface the elements necessary to the life of the
animals proper to its nature, such for example as water and atmosphere
"The planets can, by a powerful expansion of the central fire, tear
themselves into different parts, each of which spreading out into
space, becomes also a satellite that is attached to the active
atmosphere of some other planet."
"A comet which, in the first place, was a nebula can, by its effect
when drawing too near to a planet, raise its waters and give rise to a
flood by a lowering or raising its axis. This changes the bed of the
seas and brings to light that which was covered by the waters and
hidden for centuries under them such as inhabited countries which are
recovered from the ooze of the sea bottom raising at the same time the
debris of animals and of vegetables packed tightly one upon the
other . "
"Another planet, passing through the tail of a comet, may have its
atmosphere so burnt up that not only all animal and vegetable life is
destroyed, but the planet itself is transformed into a vast tomb.
Finally, a comet, by its excessive action when drawing near to a
planet, can cause such a disturbance on it that animal and vegetable
life may be greatly modified, even destroyed. These are the only
alterations that happen to the globes, but, for all that, nothing in
the world is lost. Were these globes to be reduced to atoms, these
last, by the law of magnetic attraction, would end up by bringing
forth a new planet."
"The various species of animals that seemed to have existed in the
world at distant successive epochs, are the facts of the creation
brought about by the Creative Spirit. But, all the beings who come
from these appear at epochs more or less distant the one from the
other. They seem to be the results of great catastrophies that
happened to the earth. The human species itself only seem to date
about sixty centuries."
"The suns, the comets and the various planets are as much beings of a
specific nature that find themselves definitely ruled by a spirit. The
universal hierarchy is infinite. The Eternal belongs to a category far
above these spirits. These latter are, as it were, its ministers and
the planets, the globes, its subjects that have to submit to the
directives of the same ministers."
"Everything that exists in the universe that is material or physical
or purely mineral, even the gases, note this avowal.
"Man is triune, His body or his shape is animated by a soul. This is
the junction of diverse forces by the help of which the spirit
imprints its shape or matter. The soul is directed by the Celestial
Spirit which is an emanation of the divine action and, consequently,
"Only man's form perishes. The spirit for which the soul serves as a
tie or an envelope, separates itself and man's form, deprived of this
vital celestial spirit, is delivered to the reaction of its
constituent principles. Spirit and soul live then spiritually in
seeking the centers that are suitable to them and, after the lapse of
a certain time, man or the being or the spirit or the spiritual life
which goes on always perfecting itself, separates itself from his soul
or from his glorious envelope to enter into its universality. This
means that man dies twice. That is to say, twice changes his form. But
man or the spirit lives eternally. From what I have told you, you can
now no longer doubt the immortality of the soul.
"This is all that I am allowed to teach you now to satisfy your
desires. "Now do you want to know how the Universal Medicine acts on
the animal economy? Consider as I have just told you how only man's
form is mortal and you will see that only the solid aspect perishes.
As these latter are all mineral, all can be regenerated by the
principle or mineralizing spirit which, by its various modifications,
forms the various products we know. They are all returned to their
primordial state by the action of this same principle and by its
mysterious power which re-establishes the balance and allows the
spirit freely to enter and to leave through
•our proper form just as water passes through a sponge. Because the
upsets of our body only come, excepting mechanical disturbances,
because the currents of life cannot circulate freely. But the virtue
of the Universal Medicine is purely medicinal and not surgical. It
cannot replace an amputated limb or one that is entirely destroyed,
which means that the person who takes it in good time, generally at
the two equinoxes, can live without infirmities for several centuries
unless nature has predestined a short duration of his life due to his
physical make-up which never ceases to combat the efforts of life.
"Let us now come to this matter of all your miseries and, if I dare
say so, of your fixed point. Your obstinacy was required in order to
make you worthy of such good fortune. Listen attentively and never
forget your hardships so that throughout your life you will always
remember those who are unfortunate. Follow me and fear nothing."
I then saw a cloud that seemed to emanate from the center of the
earth. We were wrapped in this cloud and it carried us into the air.
We wandered along the seashore on which I noticed small humps. Night
came. The sky was covered with stars. We followed the Milky Way,
directing ourselves toward the pole star. An extreme cold caught hold
of me and
- 9 -
brought on a deep sleep. Warmed afterwards, due to the rays of the sun
that began to appear on the horizon, I was very astounded on waking up
to find myself on the earth and here to notice a temple. The nymph
took me by the hand and led me to its entrance.
"You have now arrived," she told me, "at the spot where you must
resolve the following problem. As you have been a good mathematician,
reflect well because you can do nothing without solving it. From one
by one which is only one are made three, from the three, two, and from
the two, one.
"You have told me that you have been educated in chemistry. Look and
see what means your knowledge can offer simply to open the lock of the
door of this temple in order that you may penetrate into its very
"A victory won without danger," she said, "is a triumph without glory.
Before leaving I must once more point out to you that you can only
battle the dragon that defends interiorly the entry of this temple,
with this spear which you must make red hot by the aid of a comon fire
in order to pierce the body of the monster which you must fight and to
penetrate right to its very heart. This dragon has been well described
by the ancients and they have spoken of it on many occasions."
"Think of the dew of May. It becomes indispensible as vehicle and
principle of all things."
I looked at her; the nymph began to smile. "At last you will begin the
labors of Hercules. Collect all your energies and be of firm will.
Adieu." The nymph took my hand and squeezed it. "Do you love life?"
she said to me.
I answered her, "In your presence I cherish it more than ever." "Try
not to lose it as a result of imprudence. Waiting for the results of
the battle I shall be watching by you and in case that anything
happens, I shall come and help you. Adieu." She disappeared.
I was so sad to have lost this nymph who had now become so dear to me.
Finally I made up my mind and made ready for the battle. Having
collected branches of dry wood that were scattered on the spot where I
found myself, I lit them with the help of a lens that I found to be on
me and heated my spear almost white hot. While doing this, I sought
the means which would best destroy the lock on the door of the temple.
I noticed that the nymph had slipped into my pocket without my
noticing it a corked flask full of the substance that was necessary to
Determined to win or to perish, I furiously seized my spear with one
hand and the substance in the other and put a sufficient quantity of
this latter on the lock. In a little while the lock disappeared
entirely and the two leaves of the door to the temple opened with a
loud noise. My eyes fell on a fierce dragon who was endowed with an
enormous three pointed tongue with which he sought to throw his fatal
breath on me. I hurled myself towards him crying out:
- 10 -
"When one has lost everything, when one has no more hope, life becomes
a disgrace and death a duty."
He opened his huge jaws to devour me, at which I hurled my spear with
all my strength so that it pierced through his throat, deep into his
entrails. I tore out his heart and, so that he could not reach me, at
the same time, I made crude efforts with the help of my spear to turn
away the direction of his head. The monster curled up on himself
several times, vomited waves of blood and ceased to exist.
Following this I walked to the heart of the temple and there heard a
celestial voice speak, saying to me: "Audacious one, do you dare
profane this temple in order to satisfy your vile cupidity, or do you
come here in order to seek the means to help suffering humanity?"
I answered, "I come free from all ambition to pray on my knees for you
to grant me only the return of the fortune that I have sacrificed in
order to know the Philosopher's Stone. Also the means so that I can
secretly help virtuous human beings. I swear to you, and I swear it
before the Eternal, that if you deign to accord me such a boon, I
shall never reveal the Labors of Hercules nor the Matter nor the Fire,
except by means of a language that could only be understood by those
whom God would wish to trust with such a secret and if I am perjured,
may I be punished in the proper manner."
I then saw two superb crystal vases each resting on a pedestal made of
the most beautiful marble of Earrara.
One of these vases had the shape of an urn surmounted by a gold crown
with four fleurons. On it had been engraved the following words:
Matter containing the two metallic natures.
The other crystal vase was sealed with a glass stopper. It was very
thick and on it was engraved similarly that which now follows: Astral
spirit or ardent spirit which is a projection from the pole star.
This vase was adorned with a silver crown decorated with nine
As I finished reading, I noticed with great joy my sweet nymph who
said to me in showing me the large flask, "Do you see my mirror?
Nothing," she said to me, "can put itself in opposition now from your
rewarding yourself for the struggle that you have sustained with so
much courage while taking at will the substances that are contained in
these two sacred vases which are of the same celestial origin. I
noticed the discomfort that your victory is causing you. This could
become dangerous to you if you stay too long in this place. Hasten to
take your reward and leave this temple with all possible speed. I
shall prepare everything for our departure." She left me alone.
- 11 -
My strength and courage began to wane. I felt I must obey the orders
of the nymph. I noticed at the sides of the two sacred vases various
empty flasks, very neatly made in crystal and corked with glass
stoppers. I took two of them, opened hastily the first vase in the
form of an urn that contained the androgyous matter and the two
metallic natures and filled my container with it. After having sealed
the crystal urn, I opened the second and larger vase and tremblingly
poured into my second flask some of the substance that it contained. I
had no funnel. Time lacked, my strength was failing, I quickly closed
the large vase and my own with its crystal cork and hastened from the
temple. In passing near to the monster I had conquered, I saw that
nothing was left of him except his mortal form which was of no value
No sooner had I come out into the fresh air than I thought that I
would faint. Fearing to break my two vases through falling, I lay down
on the earth with great caution having been careful to place my two
flasks beside me. For a few moments I found it hard to breathe. My
cherished nymph came to me, smiling. She congratulated me on my
courage and on the victory I had just won. She said to me, "Be sure,
unfortunate Cyliani, that it is not good to expose yourself frequently
to such a battle. What am I seeing?" she said to me, "A school!"
Her words struck me. I said to her, "Explain yourself."
"One of your vases," she said, "seems to hold more androgynious matter
than you will need, but you have not taken enough of the Astral
Spirit. You need infinitely more. And, as Arnold of Villanova said, it
is necessary to have an abundance of water, of distilled spirit, but
your fault is excusable. It is the result of a valid fear. At any
rate, you have enough to teach you how to make the Stone and how to
achieve all your -desires. Let us now hasten to return to our point of
departure. You do not seem to be thinking any more of the companion of
your youth, nor of the anxiety into which your absence has plunged
her. Let us go. Here your life will be in danger."
I saw a new cloud come out of the center of the earth. We soon found
ourselves wrapped in it and lifted into the air. We made good speed.
Night overcame us . The sky was without a cloud and well covered with
stars. We again followed the Milky Way, but in a contrary direction,
then began to feel extremely cold. Our direction was also on the side
of the place which saw my birth. But, in leaving a cold region and in
passing into a hot region, I felt a deep sleep overcome me and was
astonished when I woke up at the aurora at sunset, to find myself at
the foot of the large oak from which we had left.
I called to my amiable nymph and she said to me, laughing, "What do
you want more?"
Then I replied, "Tell me what it is necessary for me to do in order to
finish my work."
- 12 -
"Now that you have passed the Labors of Hercules and that you possess
the Matters, it is nothing more than a work that could be done by a
woman or careful and attentive child. Listen closely."
"Observe the working of nature. In the center of the earth she has
formed the metals, but something else is necessary -- their
quintessence. Observe from whence she draws the quintessence of
things. It is only on the surface of the earth, in the kingdoms that
live or vegetate. Just follow nature, step by step. Consider also how
she functions in the vegetable kingdom, because it is not a mineral
that you are going to make. Observe how she dampens with dew or with
rain the seed that has been entrusted to the earth. How she dries it
with the aid of celestial fire and reiterating thus until the embryo
is formed, developed, buds, flowers, grows and as it reaches its
multiplicative virtue. Finally, it matures as fruit. It is very
simple. Dissolve and coagulate. That is all. And be very careful not
to use any other fire than that of heaven."
Finally the nymph was so kind as to designate everything that I still
had to do, as I shall tell in the greatest detail. I threw myself at
her feet to thank her from such an unparalleled blessing while
offering my humble thanks to the Eternal for having allowed me to
overcome so many dangers. Then she said goodbye to me, adding, "Do not
forget me . "
She disappeared. Her flight made me experience such great pain that I
A little later I started my work again, now aided by the Labors of
Hercules. I was able to produce the matter than contains the two
metallic natures, as well as the Astral Spirit. This with the help of
my last resources and not those of other times. This made me free to
handle my success as I would towards those who deserved it in my eyes,
without hurting my sense of delicacy or my comfort, nor bringing out
-k -k k -k -k
- 13 -
PREPARING OF THE AZOTH
OR THE PHILOSOPHER'S MERCURY
I first took some of the matter that contained the two metallic
natures. I began by imbuing it, little by little, with Astral Spirit
in order to awaken the two interior fires, which were as it were put
out, by lightly drying and stirring the whole with a circular movement
by the heat of the sun. Then, reiterating thus and frequently damping
more and more, drying and stirring, to the point that the matter had
taken on the aspect of a slightly thick porriage.
Then I poured on top of it a new quantity of Astral Spirit, just
enough to cover the matter and left the whole in this condition for
five days, at the end of which I adroitly decanted the liquid or the
solution, which I then kept in a cold spot. Then the matter that was
left over I dried in the heat of the sun, in a glass vase which was
approximately three fingers in height. I imbued, I stirred, I re-dried
and dissolved as I had done before and reiterated thus until I had
dissolved all that it was possible to dissolve, having been careful to
pour each solution into the same well-sealed vase which I then put for
ten days in the coldest place that I could find.
When ten days had passed, I put the whole solution to ferment in a
hold-fast for forty days at the end of which, as a result of the
internal heat, it precipitated, as a result of the internal heat of
the fermentation, a black matter.
~It is then that I distilled, to the best of my ability, the precious
liquid that floated on top of the matter containing its interior fire
and placed it in a vase of white glass, well stoppered, in a place
that was both humid and cold.
I took the black matter and dried it in the heat of the sun, as I have
already said: Reiterating the imbuings with Astral Spirit, but
stopping immediately that I noticed that the matter was beginning to
dry up and thus leaving it to dry out by itself. This was done as many
times as was necessary so that the matter could become as a shining
black pitch. Then the petrification was total and I stopped using the
exterior fire so as not to damage the matter through burning the
tender soul of the black earth. By this means, the matter came to
imitate horse manure. It was necessary according to what we are told
by the philosophers to let the interior heat of the matter act upon
It is now necessary to begin again, using the exterior fire, in order
to coagulate the matter and its spirit. After having allowed it to dry
itself, one imbues it little by little with its distilled reserved
liquid which contains its own fire. The matter crushed should be
imbued and dried by a light solar heat until it has absorbed all its
water. By this
- 14 -
means, the water is entirely transformed into earth and this latter,
through a process of dessication, changes itself into a white powder
that we also call air. This falls like a cinder containing the salt or
the Mercury of the Philosophers.
During this first procedure one sees that the solution or water is
changed into earth and this by a form of subtilization or sublimiation
transforms itself into air by means of the art and here is where one
stops the first work.
By means of the new Astral Spirit, one dissolves this ash little by
little leaving, after the solution and the decanting, a black earth
that contains the fixed sulphur. But in reiterating the operation on
this last solution, exactly as we have described, an earth is obtained
that is even whiter than the first time, which is called the first
eagle. One reiterates this process seven or nine times. By this means
one obtains the Universal Menstruum, or the Mercury of the
Philosophers or the Azoth with the aid of which one extracts the
active and personal energy of each body.
It is here good to observe that, before passing from the first eagle
to the second as well as to the following, it is important to
reiterate the preceding operation on the ash that has been left, if
the salt is not sufficiently elevated by the central fire of the
matter to the philosophical sublimation, so that nothing is left after
the operation other than a black earth from which its mercury has been
Be very careful here to note that following the swelling of the matter
during the process of fermentation that follows the solution that at
the upper part of the matter a sort of skin forms on which are to be
found a mass of little bubbles which contain the spirit. It is at this
point, that the fire must be led in a prudent manner as the spirit
tends to take on an oily form and passes to a certain degree of
As soon as the matter is dissolved it swells up, begins to ferment and
gives out a slight noise which proves that she holds within herself a
vital germ which frees itself in the form of bubbles.
In order properly to undertake the process I have just described, it
is necessary to observe the weights, the control of the fire and the
size of the vase. The weight must consist in the quantity of Astral
Spirit necessary for the solution of the matter. The handling of the
external fire must be directed so that the bubbles that contain the
spirit do not evaporate in too large a quantity and do not burn the
flowers or the sulphur by continuing the external fire so do not push
the drying of the matter too long after its fermentation and its
putref ication in order not to see the red before the black.
Finally the size of the vase must be based on the quantity of matter,
so that the vase only contains a quarter of its capacity. Do you
- 15 -
Also do not forget that the mysterious solution of the matter or the
magical marriage between Venus and Mars takes place in the temple of
which I spoke to you previously on a fine night with a calm cloudless
sky, the sun being in the sign of Gemini, the moon being in its first
quarter at its full with the help of the magnet which attracts the
Astral Spirit from the heavens. It is seven times rectified to the
point that it can calcine gold.
Now the first operation being ended, one has the Azoth or the White
Mercury or the cell or the Secret Fire of the philosophers. From this
point on certain sages dissolve it the least quantity of Astral Spirit
necessary to produce a thick solution. Having the solution, they place
it in a cold place in order to obtain the three layers of salt.
The first salt has the aspect of wool. The second of a niter with very
small points and the third is a fixed, alcaline salt.
Some philosophers use them separately; others bring them together as
is pointed out in A. de Villanova in his Petit Rosaire written in
1306, in the article on the "Two Leads" and dissolves them in four
times their weight of Astral Spirit in order to achieve all their
The first salt is the veritable Mercury of the Philosophers. It is the
key that opens all the metals by the aid of which one extracts their
tinctures. It dissolves everything radically. It fixes and ripens all
equally while fixing the bodies by its cold and congealing nature.
Briefly it is a very active universal essence. It is the vase in which
all philosophical processes are undertaken. One thus sees that the
Mercury of the Wise is a salt which is named dry water which does not
wet the hands, but to make use of it, it must be dissolved in the
Astral .Spirit, as we have already said. One uses ten parts of mercury
against one of gold.
The second salt serves to separate the pure from the impure and the
third salt serves continually to increase our mercury.
~k -k -k ~k ~k
- 16 -
PREPARATION OF THE SULPHUR
The tincture extracted from common gold is obtained through the
preparation of its sulphur which is the result of its philosophical
calcination that causes it to lose its metallic nature by changing it
into a pure earth. This calcination which cannot-take place by means
of the common fire but only by using the Secret Fire existing within
the Mercury of the Wise, because of its dual nature. And, it is by
virtue of this Celestial Fire-supported by trituation which penetrates
into the center of common gold-that the dual central fire of gold,
mercurial and sulphurous, which is found therein as if dead and im-
prisoned is now discovered to be untied and animated. The same
Celestial Fire, after having extracted the tincture of the gold, fixes
it by means of its cold and coagulating quality. It then becomes
perfect, capable of multiplying itself in both quality as well as
quantity. This earth having reached a state of stability takes on the
color of peach blossom, which gives the tincture or the fire which is
then the vital and vegetative gold of the wise. This takes place by
means of the regeneration of the gold through our mercury.
It is now necessary to dissolve the comon gold into its spermatic
matter by means of the water of our mercury of our Azoth.
In order to reach this point the gold must be reduced to a very pure
calx or oxide of a browny-red color. After having washed it over a low
fire several times with well distilled rain water, it is necessary to
dry it lightly by the heat of the sun. Then we calcify it by means of
our Secret Fire. It is upon this occasion that the philosophers say:
"The chemists burn with fire and we with water."
After having soaked and lightly crushed the oxide of well calcined
gold and having it drink its own weight in salt, or dry earth which
does not wet the hands, and having well incorporated them together
from now they are wetted by successively increasing the dampings to
the point that the whole resembles a slightly thick pap. Then place on
top of this a certain quantity of water of mercury, proportionate to
the matter, to the point that it just covers this last. The whole is
now left for five days within the gentle heat of the water bath of the
wise. At the end of this time the solution is to be decanted into a
well stoppered vase and which will be kept in a damp and cold place.
The matter that has not been dissolved is then to be taken and left to
dry in a heat similar to that of the sun. Once it is dry enough, the
frequent dampings and triturations are started once again in the same
manner as previously indicated, in order to obtain a new solution
which will be reunited with the first. Repeat in this manner until you
have dissolved everything that can be and nothing is left except the
dead earth, which is of no value. The solution being finished and
- 17 -
in the well-sealed vase of which we have already spoken, its color
should be the same as that of a lapis lazuli. This vase is to be
placed in the coldest possible place for about ten days. Then the
matter will be allowed to ferment as we have already said in the first
procedure and, by the proper internal fire of this fermentation, a
black matter will be precipitated. This matter is to be distilled
skillfully and without fire by putting the liquid separated by the
distillation which floated on top of the black earth into a well
sealed vase in a cold place.
Take the black earth, separated by the distillation of its liquid, and
allow it to dry by itself. From now on it is permeated by the external
fire: that is to say, by the Philosophical Mercury seeing that the
philosophical tree requires to be burned by the sun from time to time
and then refreshed by water.
It is then necessary to alternate the dry and the damp in order to
hasten the process of putrefaction. Once it is noticed that the earth
is begin-fling to dessicate, the imbuings are stopped and then one
leaves it to dry itself until it reaches a suitable state of dryness
and one repeats in this manner until the earth appears like black wax.
Then the putrefaction is perfect.
We must now remember what was said during the first procedure in order
not to allow the spirit to volatilize or to burn the flowers by
stopping the external fire in good time as soon as the putrefaction is
The black color that is obtained at the end of forty or fifty days
every time that the external fire has been well cared for is a proof
that the common gold has been changed into a black earth and this the
philosophers call their horse manure.
In the same way as horse manure acts by the power of its proper fire,
so, by parallel, our black earth dries its proper oily dampness by
means of its own double fire and converts itself after having drunk
all its own distilled water and become gray into a white powder which
is called air by the philosophers . This constitutes coagulation as we
have already described regarding the first procedure.
Once the matter is white, coagulation having ended, it is fixed by
taking the matter to a greater state of dessication by the help of the
external fire, following the same procedure as in our former
coagulation, until the white color is changed into a red color that
the philosophers call the element of fire. The matter reaches a very
high degree of fixity by itself, to the point that it no longer fears
the attacks of the external or ordinary fire which can no longer be
prejudicial to it in any way.
Not only is it necessary to fix the matter as we have just
demonstrated, but it is also necessary to lapidify it by taking it to
the point that it has the appearance of crushed stone by using an
ardent fire, that is to say, the first fire used, and following the
same means as previously described in order to change the impure part
of the matter into a fixed earth and in depriving the matter also of
its saline humidity.
- 18 -
Then we go on to the separation of the pure from the impure parts of
the matter. This is the last degree of regeneration which terminates
in the solution.
To arrive at this point, after having well crushed the matter and
having it in a subliminatory vase, as we have already said, of three
or four fingers in height, thick as ordinary glass, some mercurial
water is poured over it. This is our Azoth dissolved in the quantity
of Astral Spirit which is necessary to it and as previously indicated
by graduating its fire in such a manner as to maintain a temperate
heat and giving it, at the last, a quantity of this matter. By this
means we transmit all the spiritual part of this last into the water
and the earthy part sinks to the bottom. The extract is now decanted
and placed in ice in order that the oily quintessence comes together
and floats to the top of the water like an oil. The remaining earth is
thrown to the bottom as useless, because it was this that held the
medicinal virtue of the gold imprisoned which means, that it is of no
This oil now floating on the top is separated with the help of the
white feather of a pigeon that has been well washed and dampened and
it is necessary to be careful not to lose any of it at all because it
is the true quintessence of the regenerated common gold in which the
three principles are reunited and can no longer be separated the one
from the other.
Be careful to note that it is not necessary to push the lapidif ication
of the matter too far in order not to transform the calcined gold into
a sort of crystal. It is necessary to control the external fire skill-
fully so that it dries the saline humidity of the calcined gold,
little by little, and thus changes it into a soft earth, which falls
like an ash, because of its lapidif ication or more ample dessication.
The oil thus obtained by separation is the tincture or the sulphur or
the radical fire of the gold or the true coloration. It is also the
true Potable Gold or the Universal Medicine for all the ills that
afflict humanity. One only takes this at the two equinoxes in a
quantity necessary lightly to color a soup spoon full of white wine or
of distilled dew, seeing that a large quantity of this medicine would
destroy the radical humidity of man and thus deprive him of life.
This oil assumes on all possible forms and transforms itself into
powder, into salt, into stone, into spirit, etc., by means of
dessication by the help of its own secret fire. This oil is also the
Blood of the Red Lion.
The ancients symbolized it by the image of a winged dragon resting on
the earth. Finally, this oil that cannot be consumed is the Golden
Mercury. Once it is made, it is to be divided into two equal parts.
One part is kept in the oily state in a small well stoppered flask of
white glass. This is kept in a dry spot in order to use it to make the
imbuings during the reigns of Mars and the sun as I shall describe at
the end of the third procedure. The other portion is dried until it is
reduced to a powder by following the same means that I indicated
previously to dry the matter and coagulate it. Then this powder is
divided into two equal parts. One part
- 19 -
is dissolved in proportions of one part to four of its weight of
philosophical mercury in order to permeate the other parts of the
powder that has been kept back.
- 20 -
CONJUNCTION OF THE SULPHUR WITH
THE MERCURY OF THE PHILOSOPHERS
It is here that all the philosophers begin nearly all their
procedures. This has led many people into error. It is also during
this procedure that the sulphur of the philosophers is united with
their mercury. Nearly all the sages have called this last procedure
"fermentation" considering that it is during this that the new sulphur
will be dissolved again. It now ferments, it putrefies and is
resuscitated by its new regeneration and now with a ten-fold power.
This procedure differs from the two preceding ones. It is for this
reason that the philosophers have divided it into seven degrees, to
each of which they attribute a planet.
In order to undertake this operation, it is necessary to take half of
the powder that has been kept back, of which I already have spoken,
and to dampen it little by little in view that the imbuing agent used
in too great quantities will again dissolve the oil into a sulphur
which will sublimate itself and float over the water. This hinders the
union of the sulphur and the mercury, a serious fault that has
hindered the success of many philosophers. The matter must therefore
be imbued, drop by drop, by sprinkling, in order to bring about the
reunion of the moon with the Sun of the Angels and thus forming a
The external fire used in order to make these imbuings is that of
which we , have already spoken when we dissolved a quarter of the
golden oil reduced to powder in the necessary quantity of
philosophical mercury. This external fire is controlled by the
quantity of the matter.
It is now necessary to be careful to maintain the matter in an oily
state by reiterated imbuitions as often as it is necessary to make the
matter swell and have it start fermenting. Its solution is ended when
the matter takes on a bluish color. This solution is called rebis or
double mercury and the degree of mercury. This solution is immediately
followed by fermentation. Then one stops the dampings and the external
fire, allowing the internal fire of the matter work all alone and by
itself until the matter has fallen to the bottom of the vase where it
becomes as black as coal. It is then that the first degree called that
of Saturn is started and that one distills without fire. The liquid
that floats above the black matter in the same way described in the
two preceding operations.
The black matter is allowed to dry by itself and, as soon as it has
reached a suitable state of dryness, one again permeates it with the
exterior fire. The permeation is stopped when the matter begins to dry
up. It is allowed to acquire a certain degree of dryness by itself and
one goes on reiterating in this manner until the matter has reached
its total putref iciation . Then the exterior fire is stopped in order
not to damage the matter.
- 21 -
By means of the action of the matter' s proper fire this now, from
being black, becomes gray without our having been obliged to apply the
external fire. We have now reached the degree of jupiter. It is in
this degree that one notices the colors of the rainbow appear. These
are then replaced by a type of browny-black skin which acquires a
certain dryness, divides itself, and becomes gray and one notices a
small white circle on the walls of the vase.
The matter having reached this point one could use it as a medicine.
In that case, it is necessary to allow the matter to become quite dry
and transform itself into a white powder by using the same procedures
already described in order to obtain this color that will later be
made to become red by the aid of the Secret Fire.
This medicine would now have a virtue ten times as great as the first
of which I have spoken. But if one desires to use it for the
transmutation of metals, after having dried it well, one does not wait
for it to become white but makes it such by amalgamating it to equal
parts of a common commercial mercury which has been carefully purified
by distillation, well sublimated and revivafied. This is the milk or
the fat of the earth.
In fact, when the common mercury is amalgamated with the matter the
whole dissolves itself into a white liquid that looks like milk. It is
fixed by the matter into a fixed salt by the action of its proper
Then one again starts the mercurial washings which make it as white as
crystal. This is done with the help of seven different washings,
during each of which revivafied mercury is added in equal parts as I
have said above, then by a half, by a third, by a fourth, by a fifth,
by a sixth and seventh parts of the weight of the fixed matter so that
the weight of the matter will always be greater than that of the
revivafied mercury .being used.
But from the very first washing with equal parts it is essential not
to let the fire go out, either by day or night, that is to say the
imbuings of the distilled liquid which contains the fire of the
matter, so that this latter does not become cold and lost. The
compound is the Brass of the Philosophers which must be whitened by
frequent dampings until the amalgamated mercury is fixed by our
matter, supported by its proper fire. This ends the degree of Jupiter.
In continuing thus, the brass takes on a yellowish color. Then it be-
comes bluish and then the most beautiful white appears on top. Then
begins the degree of the Moon. This beautiful white has the appearance
of crushed diamonds. It has become a very fine and very subtile
powder. One has now obtained the fixed white. A little of this is
placed on top of a blade made of reddened copper. If it melts without
smoke, that means that the tincture is sufficiently fixed. If the
contrary is the case, it is necessary to add fire, continuing this
until it has achieved its convenient degree of fixity and there one
stops if one only wishes to make the white tincture. A one part of
this transmutes one hundred parts of common mercury into a silver
better than that of the mines .
- 22 -
But if one wishes to make a red tincture, the fire of the matter must
be continued without having allowed it to become cold, that is if one
wishes that it become red.
If we continue to apply the external fire, the matter becomes very
fine and of such a subtility that is almost unimaginable. For this
reason the fire must be very well controlled so that the matter does
not volatilize due to the strength of the fire which must penetrate it
entirely, but that it stays at the bottom of the vase and transforms
itself into a green powder. This is now the degree of Venus.
Wisely continuing the external fire, the matter turns to a lemon
yellow. This is the degree of Mars.
This color increases in intensity and becomes the color of copper.
When it has reached this point it can no longer increase in intensity
by itself. Now it is necessary to have recourse to the golden red
mercury, that is to say, to our oil that has been kept and to
impregnate the matter with this oil until it has become red. Now
begins the degree of the sun.
In continuing the impregnations with the golden oil, the matter
becomes redder and redder, then purple and, finally, of a brownish-
red. This constitutes the salamander of the wise that fire can no
Finally, the matter is conjoined with the same aurific oil by imbuing
it, drop to drop, until the oil of the sun is coagulated with the
matter and that this latter, placed on a hot blade, melts without
smoke. It is by this means that the red tincture is obtained. This is
the fixed and coagulating gold of which one part transmutes a hundred
parts of mercury into a gold that is better than that of nature.
The two tinctures of which I have just written, the white and the red,
can multiply, both in quality as well as quantity, so long as these
tinctures have not been subjected to a common fire which has the
effect of making them lose their radical humidity which fixes them
into an earth resembling a sutone . In order to achieve the
multiplication of the white and red tinctures, the third process has
to be repeated in its entirety.
The white and red powders have to be dissolved in the philosophical
mercury. They must undergo fermentation and putrefaction as well as
regeneration. In order to achieve success, the imbitions must be
reiterated little by little. The fire must be directed and controlled
in the manner already described. After this second multiplication one
part is enough to make a projection on a thousand parts of mercury and
transmute it into silver or into gold, depending on the color of the
powder. These metals are perfect.
The multiplication in quality is obtained by reiterating the
philosophical sublimation which takes place when the pure is separated
from the impure with the help of the Philosophical Mercury. The
manipulations of the third process are to be punctiliously repeated
after having dried and reduced into powder all the white oil with the
help of the fire of the matter-if working in the white--and one part
of the red oil if working in the red. This is in order to keep the
other part to be used in the degree of Mars and the Sun, as I have
already stated, if operating with the red.
The multiplication in quantity is achieved by adding regenerated
common -nercury as already stated. If one wishes to make the
multiplication in quality at the same time, it is necessary to begin,
as a general rule, by sublimating the matter. The pure must be
separated from the impure, by total descication -- if working with the
white -- or by half if working with the red. This by the help of the
self-same fire which is to be controlled in the same manner as I did
for the third process. This is to reduce them into a powder which we
shall divide each into equal parts. One part will be dissolved in four
parts its weight in philosophical mercury. This will serve to imbue
the part that has been retained by absolutely reiterating the third
Should one so wish, these manipulations may be reiterated up to ten
times. Each time the matter will acquire a tenfold power and will
become so subtile that the last time, it will pass through the glass,
becoming totally volatilized. Usually one stops at the ninth
multiplication. At this point it becomes so volatile that at the least
heat it pierces the glass and evaporates. As a result, it is usual to
stop at the transmutation of one part in a thousand or ten thousand at
the most, in order not to risk losing so precious a treasure.
- 24 -
At this point, I shall not describe the very strange processes I have
done, to my great astonishment, both in the vegetable and the animal
kingdoms as well as the means used for making malleable glass, pearls
and precious stones more beautiful even than those of nature,
following the procedure indicated by Zachary in using vinegar and the
matter fixed in white, and grains of pearls and rubies fine powdered
moulded and then fixed by means of the fire of the matter. I restrain
my words in order not to perjure myself and seem here to fly beyond
the boundaries of human credulity.
Having finished my work, I took one hundred grammes of distilled
mercury and placed it in a crucible. As soon as they began to smoke, I
threw one gramme of my transmutating sulphur on top. It turned into an
oil on top of the mercury and I saw this last successively coagulating
more and more. I then increased my fire and thus pursuing made it
stronger to the point that my mercury became perfectly fixed. This
took about an hour. Having poured it into a little ingot— mould, I
tested it and found it better than that of the mines.
How great was my joy! I was carried away with rapture! Like Pygmalion,
I fell upon my knees in order to contemplate my work and to thank the
Eternal. I wept a torrent of tears! How sweet they were. How my heart
was relieved! It would be hard for me here to describe everything I
felt and the position in which I found myself. A thousand thoughts
came simultaneously before my mind. The first would lead me to seek
the King citizen in order to confess my triumph; another, that one day
I would make enough gold to create various foundations in the town
that had given me birth. Another thought made me want to see married
as many young girls as there are sections in Paris, dowering each one.
Another idea impelled me to find out the addresses of people poor and
ashamed of their poverty and to go in person to their homes to bring
them help. In the end, I began to fear that joy had cracked my wits. I
experienced the need to use violence on myself and to take a great
deal of exercise by walking in the country. I did this during eight
consecutive days. Every few hours I would take off my hat and raise my
eyes to the sky to thank heaven for having granted me such a blessing.
The tears would flow abundantly from my eyes. Finally, I managed to
calm myself and to realize how I would expose myself to danger if I
undertook such endeavors. After having reflected soberly, I came to
the firm decision that I would live unknown, without pomp, and
restrain my ambition by giving happiness in secret without letting
myself be known as a benefactor.
I had told my wife of my success and promised to repeat the
transmutation for her benefit. She urged me not to speak of this to
anyone. It was Maundy Thursday 1831 at seven minutes past ten in the
morning that I had achieved my first transmutation, alone. I lacked
mercury and put off showing my wife until the day after Easter. From a
gardener, I bought a laurel branch and a twig of evergreen. Having
tied them together, I wrapped the whole in a sheet of writing paper
and wended my way home where my wife was sitting by the window,
reading. Kneeling in front of her, I placed my bouquet at her feet,
saying: "Here it is at last, dear friend, placed at your feet. It
crowns me at last, just as you and I are
descending towards the grave. It has cost me thirty-seven years of
painful labors and more than fifteen hundred nights without sleep. I
have known so many humiliations, been overwhelmed with abuses, shunned
by my friends, rejected by your family and mine. Finally, I lost the
most interesting creature that one might possibly see. Yet, I have
never ceased from being an honest man and cherishing you." My head
fell upon her knees. I began to weep. 0 tears of regret at remembering
my losses! Tears at the tribulations that I have known! Tears of joy,
how sweet you were! You calmed my heart! I was reborn. I was a new
man. Her eyes filling with tears, my wife lifted my head, saying:
"Stand up, my friend, and stop crying." I placed my lips upon hers and
this tenderly reciprocated kiss embellished the sweetness of my life
and reanimated my mind beaten down by unhappiness .
It was not enough to have admitted my success and to have placed the
laurel at her feet. It was necessary to convince her and to perform
the transmutation in front of her.
I took a watchglass and put therein a small quantity of just bought
distilled commercial mercury which was quite pure. On this I placed my
transmutatory mercury in the oily state, not powdered, in the pro-
portion of one part to a hundred. I shook the glass gently in such a
way as to give the oil a circulatory movement. Joy fully we saw the
mercury offer a most curious phenomenon. It coagulated into the color
of the most beautiful gold. All I had to do was to melt it in a
crucible and pour it off. Thus, to my wife's great astonishment, I
demonstrated a cold transmutation. She then said to me: "Your success
is the crown of your desires. If you wish to make me happy and help me
forget the long chain of our miseries, let us spend the rest of our
days unknown, without making any sort of show. Hide everything that
might reveal your secret and serve as a lure to the greed of those
whose ambition is insatiable. Hide from intrigue, from tyranny, from
I replied: "I have sworn that, even if melted lead were to be poured
through my veins, I would take my secret with me to the grave. That is
to say, the knowledge of the Matter, the Fire, and the Labors of
Hercules. Before God I swear to you that I shall make you happy and
fulfill all your desires. Let us hope that the Eternal will protect us
from men who are filled with envy, from the vicious and the corrupt."
You young people who are likely to read this work, do not let your
wish to make a showing in the world and the lure of wealth urge you
enter into the search for the Philosopher's Stone. If you could only
know, as I do, the various hardships that I have undergone in order to
reach this goal, you would draw back in fear. Start only if God allows
you to meet a man who has already succeeded in making the Stone. One
who will lead you by the hand from the beginning to the end. Push away
from your mind in horror the idea of devoting yourself to Hermetic
Philosophy. Whole secrets are unbelievably far more difficult to find
on one's own. If, hoping to have better luck than I did, you reject my
advice and are so fortunate as to succeed, never forget those more
unfortunate than yourself. Above all, be discreet. Be miserly in what
you spend to satisfy
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your tastes and your passions, but be lavish towards the poor.
Remember that the greatest happiness for a well-born heart is to make
others happy without their knowledge and always keep the Eternal
before your mind.
Flee the corrupt of society. They have all the means to abuse your
qualities. They would seem ruined by their promises that seem to flow
from a good heart, but they become rich by making you their dupe. In
few words, do not seek happiness in life from the two extremes of
society. Seek it in the middle class, from honest industrialists.
However, there are certain exceptions to be made and I would be an
ingrate to judge otherwise. Never in my life shall I forget a well-
born man to whom I have promised myself I shall give proof of my
Estimable youth, may my life serve you as an example and my
suggestions as lessons, and may they merit a few tears from your eyes
to sweeten the long chain of miseries I have known.
If you, Kings of the earth, knew the number of people who devote their
lives to seeking the Philosopher's Stone, you would be astonished. If,
also, you knew that during three or four hundred years only one or two
men succeed in obtaining that which, in business, does not offer the
product of a single gold mine in Peru or elsewhere. Instead of seeking
out those who have succeeded and torturing them, you would cover them
with goodness, grant them your friendship and help so that they could
fully serve suffering humanity and allow you to share in the benefits
of their discoveries.
My fellow countrymen, if the Eternal allows me to leave you that which
my heart wishes to be your fate, in gratitude do the following for me.
.Transport my mortal remains to a chalky place facing a little turret
on which lies a sorrowful emblem from an ancient war, at the base of
which runs a rivulet whose source is a league from there and turns
several mills. Have them covered only by a large block of hard granite
which is common in the place where I was born and where I was married
and on it put just the following inscription:
"HERE REST THE MORTAL REMAINS OF THE UNFORTUNATE CYLIANI . "
Seeing that no law exists in any country forbidding the publishing of
a discovery useful to society, I have had this work printed. I have
also put into circulation gold, perfect by its weight, its color, its
specific weight and fusibility. By what right would one wish to give
preference to gold that is mined over that created by the
philosopher's art, considering that this latter is the better.
-k rk -k -k -k
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